Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 June 1995) . . Page.. 1006 ..
leeway in the answers that were provided by the Minister, there was leeway in the process of question asking. I would appeal to you, Mr Speaker, that, if you are going to rule on the way that we ask questions, you should also then rule on the way that Ministers answer questions.
Mr De Domenico: On that point of order, too, Mr Speaker: I think that what Ms McRae did not say was that, whilst she never ruled a supplementary question out of order, she never ruled an answer out of order either, as I recall.
MR SPEAKER: I accept what Ms McRae said - that supplementary questions were not ruled out of order by her. I do not believe that they have been to date in this Assembly either, by the way. However, the question of how Ministers answer questions, as you know, for the last six years has been interpreted most liberally. I use a small “l” in that remark - - -
Ms Follett: We do not.
MR SPEAKER: Maybe not. I would remind members that the standing orders say that questions shall be brief and relate to a single issue, just as that answers shall be concise and confined to the subject matter of the question. In confining it to the subject matter of the question, how the Minister chooses to answer the question, I am afraid, is entirely up to the Minister.
Ms Follett: No, it is not.
MR SPEAKER: I can do no more than draw people's attention to the standing orders, which say “confined to the subject matter of the question”.
Have you finished, Chief Minister?
MRS CARNELL: I have finished.
Retail Space - Manuka
MS TUCKER: My question is to the Minister for Business, Employment and Tourism, Mr De Domenico. Considering the oversupply of retail space in the ACT, can the Minister comment on a process, which is under way, of calling for expressions of interest by August on the proposal to build an extra 9,000 square metres of retail space in the Manuka area? Is it correct that there is a closed tender process being used?
MR DE DOMENICO: Can I refer that one to where it ought to be answered, and that is to my colleague, Mr Humphries.
Ms Follett: He does not know.
MR DE DOMENICO: He does know.